Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has reaffirmed its commitment to road safety by adding its support to Wheel Well, an organisation committed to in-vehicle safety for children of all ages.
“Safety is one of the biggest considerations when families shop for a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) such as the ASX,” says Braam Faul, National Marketing Manager of Mitsubishi Motors South Africa. “Although we emphasise the importance and benefits of our vehicles’ safety features, more emphasis will be placed on child safety in the future.”
Research shows that less than 10% of all children in South Africa are properly restrained in child seats.
“This is a shocking statistic if you consider that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unnatural deaths in children in our country,” says Peggie Mars, the driving force behind Wheel Well. “This is exacerbated by the fact that South Africa’s road death rate is double that of the world average.”
According to Mars, a proper child restraint can limit child deaths in vehicle accidents by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4 years. Using a booster seat for children between 4 and 8 years old could further reduce the risk of serious injury by as much as 45%.
“Any child under 1.5 metres tall should be strapped into an appropriate child- or booster seat. As long as children cannot sit with their backs against the seatback and their legs comfortably over the seat cushion, a normal seatbelt will not function as designed and could actually hamper the child’s safety,” says Mars.
“That is why we are campaigning for the legislation of compulsory child restraints in vehicles until a child has grown to a height of 1.5 metres,” says the Wheel Well organiser.
MMSA has announced that it will incorporate a child-safety curriculum into the training of their staff to ensure that this important message is shared with customers.
“Children are our biggest asset in this country,” says Faul. “The Mitsubishi ASX is a firm favourite with young families because of its comprehensive list of active- and passive safety features – so where better to start off with a family safety awareness campaign?” he says.
The ASX boasts a 5-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating which includes a 78% rating for child safety.
“This is directly accredited to the ISOFIX mountings for child safety seats that are anchored in the strongest part of the vehicle’s chassis,” adds Faul.
MMSA has donated R25,000 to Wheel Well to promote child safety and has announced that their dealerships will assist Wheel Well’s active drive to collect, clean and refurbish child seats that are then donated to needy families.
Any donations of used car seats in any condition are welcomed. More information on donations and collection points are available at www.wheelwell.co.za